Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on President Obama’s executive actions to reduce gun violence:
"I feel deeply the same outrage and emotion President Obama expressed today. Gun violence is an epidemic in this country. There are 11,000 homicides and 22,000 suicides each year committed with guns. There are tens of millions more guns than people, and December alone saw 1.6 million gun sales, the second-highest number in a single month in nearly 20 years.
"Congress is immobilized by its fear of the gun lobby, and it has proved impossible to pass even modest reforms to require universal background checks or add known or suspected terrorists to the list of prohibited purchasers.
"In response to this inaction, President Obama rightly said ‘enough is enough.’ I’m very pleased he is using his authority to bring some sanity to our gun laws and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other potentially dangerous individuals. I fully support these actions and am prepared to do whatever I can to help implement these new policies.
"The executive actions announced today will help address the loopholes that allow felons and other prohibited purchasers to buy weapons at gun shows and online without background checks. Expanding the use of background checks is a commonsense action supported by 93 percent of Americans, including gun owners.
"The president is also taking steps to better enforce current laws against gun trafficking and straw purchasers; provide more robust mental health checks; and strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to ensure it’s up to date and applications are processed efficiently. Gaps in the current system allow individuals who should not be allowed to purchase weapons to slip through the cracks.
"While these policies will help reduce the scourge of gun violence, we still need congressional action, and I very much hope that one day my colleagues will find the courage to do the right thing and stand up to the gun lobby."